Carteret, N.J Mayor Dan Reiman confirmed the toddler’s death on Facebook. The attack occurred around 4:30 p.m. and the boy was airlifted to a hospital where he later died.
The mother was also taken to a hospital where she remains. The family had moved to the area from New York City, WNBC, the NBC-owned television station in New York reported.
The dogs, owned by a neighbor, somehow got into a fenced area in the backyard where the boy and his mother were, Patch reported. Reiman said the dogs were not registered with the city, which is required by law, and were euthanized.
“As a small community, our Carteret family mourns the heart-wrenching loss of our young neighbor and we pray for this young mother and family in this time of unimaginable grief,” he wrote.
A man told the WNBC he heard the mother’s pleas for help during the attack. Neighbors told the station the dogs had never acted aggressively before.
It was unclear if the owner of the dogs will face criminal charges.